by The Welthi Bureau | 09th October, 2018
Texting, emailing, and web surfing on smartphone/computer and unexpected side effects
Dr. KK Aggarwal has been elected as the president-elect of Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania and talks about the problems of constantly using technology.
The repetitive motions of texting and typing can lead to general hand pain from underlying osteoarthritis (the wearing away of cartilage in the joints). Using these gadgets doesn't cause osteoarthritis, but if you're prone to it, it can increase your symptoms.
Using your thumbs too much to text can cause strain or overuse injuries of the tendons that run from the wrist to the thumb (a condition called De Quervain's tenosynovitis). Symptoms include pain over the thumb side of the wrist, which can appear gradually or suddenly and move up the forearm.
Pushing buttons too hard with your fingers can lead to inflammation around the tendons and pulleys that enable the fingers to bend, increasing the risk for trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis). Symptoms include pain, popping, and a feeling that the digit is locking when you bend or straighten it.
Carpal tunnel syndrome—a condition in which the median nerve is compressed as it passes through a small area at the wrist known as the carpal tunnel. Typing may bring out the symptoms of the condition, such as pain, tingling, and numbness in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and inner half of the ring finger.
Leaning too much on your elbows may worsen cubital tunnel syndrome, in which the ulnar nerve is compressed where it passes through tissue near the elbow called the cubital tunnel. Symptoms include pain, numbness, or tingling in the ring or little finger.
Looking down at an electronic gadget for long periods can lead to neck and back pain.
It's the posture and the amount of time in that posture that matters.
It can also irritate the occipital nerve where the spine connects to the base of the skull, which can cause headaches
Treatments for hand or wrist conditions include taking a break from the offending activity; splinting; short-term use of over-the-counter painkillers exercises to stretch the tendons and sometimes steroid injections.
If texting with your thumbs causes pain, you may need to use other fingers to text, or use a stylus.
If you have hand deformity or pain, use voice commands, or use a fatter stylus to put less stress on the thumb joint
To ease carpal tunnel pain, set up your workstation so that your forearms are parallel to the floor, your wrists are straight and in line with your forearms, and your elbows are relaxed and bent at a 90-degree angle at your waist.
Using a vertical mouse places the hand in a less stressful position. And keep the mouse in front of you, not to the side
To relieve back and neck pain, adjust your posture when using a device. Keep your gaze parallel to the floor as opposed to downward. It's helpful to raise the computer monitor so it's level with your eyes. Do the same with handheld devices by propping them on a few pillow.
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